Alassane Ouattara 'wins' Ivory Coast presidential election

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Ouattara was the prime minister between 1990 and 1993

Alassane Ouattara won the Ivory Coast's presidential run-off election on Thursday according to the country's electoral commission. However the Constitutional Council has contested the announcement. Ouattara was the challenger in the run-off against President Laurent Gbagbo. Supporters of Gbagbo have claimed that the vote should be blocked because of fraud in the north of the country.

The head of the electoral commission, Youssouf Bakayoko, released the results of the vote while under armed guard. He announced that Ouattara had won 54% of the vote, while Gbagbo took 46%. Bakayoko was speaking from a hotel rather than the headquarters of the commission.

The vote was plagued with delays as violence took its toll on the country. Legally, Gbagbo's term ended five years ago, but supporters of the President have refused to accept his defeat. Up to eight people were killed at an opposition party headquarters by about 20 armed supporters of the president. The attack took place only hours after a 1900 UTC curfew had been put in place.

Paul Yao N'Dre, the head of the Constitutional Council, also released a statement saying, "because of disagreements on the results of some regions, the independent electoral commission wasn't able to give the provisional results. The Constitutional Council — responsible for sorting out disputes in presidential elections — finds itself in charge, to find a solution to the disagreements, and proclaim the definitive presidential election results."

In last months first round of voting President Gbagbo was leading by 38% and Ouattara followed closely with 32%.